How To ‘Whole Grain’ Your Culinary World

One of my favorite places to grab lunch on campus is the food court’s salad bar. The eatery features dozens of ingredients that you can mix-and-match to create a customizable salad. This semester, one of the ingredient choices is red quinoa, and each time I frequent the salad bar I’m reminded of what a super smart idea this is!

While many think nothing of adding croutons to salad, I’d say it’s less common to add a scoop of whole grains atop a salad–whether it’s red quinoa or even bulgar and buckwheat. I’ve written many a blog posts about the superior nutritional content of whole grains versus white, refined carbohydrates, and this week I wanted to share some lesser-known tips and tricks to make your culinary world even more whole grain.

Did you know that if you have oats in your cupboard or pantry, you also have the makings of oat flour (with the nifty help of a blender of course!) Simply grind a few cups of whole oats in your blender until they reach a flour-like consistency. Next, add your DIY oat flour to pancake, scone, or waffle batters. This option is fantastic, particularly if you’re not a fan of oatmeal’s consistency or texture, and it will also ensure that your baked goods receive a boost in nutrients.

If you don’t have the time to make DIY whole-grain flours like oat flour, then make it a point to purchase whole wheat flour rather than white flour at the grocery store. If you’re having trouble adjusting to its different taste, opt to use whole-wheat flour for half of a recipe’s needed amount of flour. As your taste buds grow to tolerate the whole-wheat flour, you can increase the amount of it that you use, and eventually transfer your recipes completely to whole-grain flour. 

This same process of gradually transferring from white flour to whole-wheat flour can be applied to rice. Start purchasing brown rice at the grocery store, and substitute it for half of the white rice that a recipe calls for. I personally think that it’s easier to adjust to the taste of brown rice than it is to adjust to the taste of whole-wheat flour, because often times rice recipes include aromatic spices or herbs (i.e. ginger in vegetable fried rice) that completely masks the taste of the rice itself.

What’s your favorite source of whole grains? What’s your go-to tip for incorporating more whole grains in your diet?

Until Next Week…Plan Well, Pack Well, Live Well,


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2 thoughts on “How To ‘Whole Grain’ Your Culinary World

  1. Tara Tammaro

    Katie I look forward to your posts. I always learn so much. I have never tried red quinoa but will now. I like to make power bowls with quinoa and veggies for lunch. I can’t wait to try oat flour. What an awesome healthy tidbit. Thanks again for helping me stay on a healthy path.

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words, Tara…I so appreciate your support of my blog! Your go-to lunch of quinoa and vegetable power bowls sounds delicious…I’m also so glad that you found the oat flour tip helpful!

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